Gallup: Columbine shooting aftermath was peak of Americans naming guns as most important problem

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The percentage of Americans naming guns and gun control as the most important problem facing the nation peaked in 1999 after the Columbine High School shooting in Littleton, according to national polls.

Fifteen people – including the gunmen – were left dead April 20, 1999 after two teenagers open fired in Columbine High School. A month later, 10 percent of American’s listed guns and gun control as the most important problem, according to the Gallup Organization.

The recent massacre in Orlando, Florida, has started a chorus of calls for more gun control. But it remains to be seen how many Americans will name guns as the top issue facing the country after the most deadly mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Fifty people – including the gunman – were left dead Sunday in Orlando, Florida. Another 53 were injured.

In recent years, more Americans tend to see guns as a problem after high-profile, mass shootings, according to Gallup.

Guns temporarily became a top priority for 7 percent of Americans after 26 people were killed in Newton Connecticut in December 2012; nine people were killed in Charleston, South Carolina in June 2015 and 14 were killed in San Bernardino in December 2015.

Business & data reporter Adrian D. Garcia can be reached via email at or